Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Politics, is it a good thing anywhere?

Recently I have been learning a lot from the comments of Dr. Pion who is graciously reading my sometimes rambling posts and giving much wanted feedback. A comment by Dr. Pion has gotten me thinking about politics in teaching.

When I was in undergrad I wanted to teach 6Th grade, boy was I wrong. First day in the teacher's lounge taught me that I was not cut out for squabbles over who used the paper room and left a mess and why teacher X is getting new stuff in their classroom......

Did I trade one kind of politics for another?

At my CC there is little discussion of paper rooms but there is always something going on. As an adjunct I was happily immune to it all. I just was not on campus enough to know what was going on. But now I am starting to see where there is tension and my first faculty association meeting was a wide eyed experience learning how to navigate the sometimes clique-ish faculty.

I am brand new to the full time gig and am currently working on tenure. Tenure in this setting is heavily based on teaching but I also have to be involved in the goings on of the CC and community.

Recently in reworking our Gen Ed goals I have been able to get my foot in the door and get involved in something I am excited about and something that will help with my tenure endeavours.

What I realize now was that I also threw myself into the political life of the college. I am now the newbie speaking out on things when maybe I shouldn't. I think I am good at sitting back and observing, it is part of my teaching pedagogy, but I also like to be active and involved. My MA work was all about stuff like gen ed goals and course alignments, etc. I really can contribute but at the same time I am running the big risk of stepping on toes and am quickly learning what it means to be in the camp that agrees with the division chair and then all those who do not.

It is such a strange situation to be in, wanting to be your best and really shine so they want to keep you and then being sure to not play it up in front of some to avoid awkward and angry situations.

7 comments:

The Adjunct Professor said...

Interesting post (and well stated). I have actually linked back to this post in one of my posts on my adjunct professoring blog.

Anonymous said...

if you really want tenure
and it's worth it to you,
you'd be very well advised
to avoid serious political work
*until* tenured.

sometimes i wish i'd done it
that way myself; mostly i figure
i'm *supposed* to be marginalized
in permatemp positions since
politics is so hateful to me.

but it's pretty clear to me
that my active interest
in faculty governance
wrecked my professional career.
and this isn't an unusual story.

Anonymous said...

Being a new teacher is always tough. I want to share a website that I recently joined that may help you, especially in building a mentor relationship or finding resources for your class. It is a teacher community, Applebatch. You should check it out if you have the chance.

http://applebatch.com

剩沒底天 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。..................................................

陽明山花季 said...

It's great!!.............................................

明秋 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical...................................................

于名于名 said...

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩ ........................................